Saturday, 01. November 2014
19. 06. 14. - 14:00
A high-profile competition offered by McDonald's in Germany was turned into a PR disaster after a man who won a trip into outer space said he wasn't interested in the prize – and swapped it for a Mercedes.
Car dealer Heike Düsterhoeft, 50, ended up with the prize and was photographed in a spaceman suit making the preparations for the flight later this year – only to find herself dragged into court after the original ticket holder claimed he had not been paid enough.
Bilal Mazbouh, 44, who won the McDonald's first prize was given a Mercedes ML 500 by his car dealer business partner, but claims he had also been promised a five series BMW, a Seat Leon and a set of expensive alloy wheels, and he wants the extra payment that he alleges he is owed - or 80,000 Euros – and if not then he wants the tickets back.
He said: "I never really wanted to sell it, she just took the winning ticket away from me and said she wanted to check that it was real."
But Heike says that the demands by her former business partner in the car dealership only surfaced after the media had started reporting about the fact she was to become the first German tourist into space.
She said: "What he is saying is such a load of rubbish, we had a fixed deal right from the start, and I even have an SMS to prove it. It says: "Would you rather fly into space?"
He admits sending the SMS but says it was just a joke.
Now the two are set to appear at a court in Magdeburg even though the judge has already made it clear that he doesn't see any evidence in favour of one or the other, and as a result the status quo is unlikely to change. That means that Bilal will keep the car, and the woman her tickets.
Judge Joern Draack, 40, said: "I imagine the end result of this court case will be just like the Brazil Mexico game, 0-0."
The decision is now expected to be made on August 6.
Heike, who has already done the basic astronaut training at a camp in Holland, said that she's really excited about making the trip and doesn't expect the court case to change anything. She gets to sit alongside in the shuttle as a co-pilot and will fly into space for about 100 kilometres before coming back to earth.
But because of the court case the original flight plan for autumn 2014 has now been put off, and it's expected that she won't fly (assuming the court agrees that she keeps the tickets) before 2015.
Halloween At The Zoo
Pumpkin pie might be the order of the day for people this Halloween but now zoo animals are also getting in on the act.
Baby Naked Mole Rats Born In Vienna
With their pink hairless bodies and fangs for front teeth, these baby naked mole rats were never going to win any cuteness contests at Schonbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Jihad Girls Gunpoint Retraction Of Desire To Go Home
Austrian anti-terrorism police believe that an interview given to a French magazine allegedly with one of the two teenage girls who fled to Syria to join in the jihad was probably carried out at gunpoint.
Get Shorty As Confused Bald Ibis Gets Lost Again
A rare bald Ibis that seems to have a different sense of direction to her fellow birds has once again had to be rescued after getting stuck trying to find a different route to the southern Italian feeding ground.
Alpine Trains Venture Into Space As The Final Frontier
Austria’s national railway line the OeBB has raised eyebrows after offering themed toilets including one that is supposed to "look and smell like outer space".
MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.
Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.
There was a festival atmosphere as Bundespresident Heinz Fischer opened Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof Friday morning.
Apple Truck Causes Traffic Jam
When 24 tonnes of apples are catapulted across a road it can only mean a jam.
Farmer Cleared Over Wolf Shooting
Furious animal rights campaigners have accused an Austrian farmer of lying after he shot dead a wolf that he claimed he thought was a fox.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Jihad Girls Gunpoint Retraction Of Desire To Go Home|
|Baby Naked Mole Rats Born In Vienna|
|Halloween At The Zoo|
|Dim Romeo Burns Down College During Failed Proposal|
|Brit That Saved Kids From Nazis Gets Top Honour|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.